Wednesday, April 16, 2014
The European Parliament adopted 3 key texts that complete the legislative work underpinning the Banking Union (Single Resolution Mechanism, Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive, and Deposit Guarantee Schemes Directive), yesterday’s plenary session (15.4) in Strasbourg.

Addressing the EP plenary, representing the Council of the EU, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos said that the Banking Union is a major step towards the completion of a “true Economic and Monetary Union based on greater integration and solidarity in the euro area.

And the Single Rule Book, the foundation on which the Banking Union has been built, will deliver greater stability to the whole of the EU and its internal market.” He further said that the SSM Regulation has established a strong banking supervisor for the euro area and other Member States wishing to participate. The ECB will directly supervise systemically important banks and will cooperate closely with the relevant national authorities responsible for the rest. This will contribute to creating a level playing field and more stringent supervision of the sector. And, referring to the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) Venizelos said emphasized the importance of the political agreement reached regarding this regulation.

On his part, Ecofin President and Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras said yesterday after the EP vote: “I wholeheartedly welcome today's adoption by the European Parliament and with a very large majority, of three key texts which make up the EU's Banking Union… With these legislative acts, the EU has come a long way in ensuring that taxpayers are safeguarded from failing banks, and, at the same time, that their hard- earned savings held in Banks up to €100,000 will be fully protected,” Stournaras said.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos presented the basic legislative achievements to date of the Greek EU Presidency, before the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee in Strasbourg, yesterday (14.04).

Venizelos said that during the Presidency, many pending issues have been settled, such as the Single Resolution Mechanism, which is “a major step toward the completion of the banking union.” He further referred to the legislative work on the Multiannual Financial Framework and the High Level Group on Own Resources chaired by former Italian Prime Minister and former Commissioner Mario Monti.

On the issue of financing of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the European Solidarity Fund, Venizelos spoke of the adopted regulation which aims at reinforcing consumer confidence in online transactions.

He also reminded that the visa requirement for people from Moldova wishing to enter the EU has been abolished, while procedures have been enacted facilitating seasonal employment.

IBM has announced that it will establish a new Big Data and Business Analytics Center of Competence in Athens, in order to enhance its ability to deliver technical and consulting capabilities in the region, drawing on an emerging generation of highly skilled local expertise.

It will be one of a total of nine such centers that IBM operates around the world, but the only one in Southeast Europe. The new center will help companies to better leverage analytics and cognitive computing capabilities, improving business operations and enhancing their competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Furthering its focus on big data and analytics in Greece, IBM is also collaborating with Athens University of Economics and Business to provide lectures, case studies and workshops on big data and business analytics, and with the University of Piraeus on the development and design of hands-on practical sessions in business intelligence and analytics modules of MBA programs.

The Greek National Theatre will participate at the 68th Avignon Festival with Yannis Mavritsakis’ play Vitrioli, directed by Olivier Py.

The play was first staged in Greece in 2013 and unravels the story of a young boy, who cannot settle for an ordinary life, struggling against conventionalities and conformism. Mavritsakis has managed to decipher the tumultuous world of adolescence and communicate the feelings of a young rebel using a dark but powerful language.

Marking the Greek EU Presidency, a Greek Film Week titled "Images from the Past, Vision of the Future,"will open on April 23, in Belgrade, with the screening of the 1953 classic Barefoot Battalion by Gregg C. Tallas. During Greek Film Week, the audience will have the opportunity to discover both contemporary and classical Greek artists and learn about the works that have marked the history of the Greek cinema as well as the contemporary works inspired by the financial crisis. Serbian cinephiles will also have the opportunity to talk with several Greek directors and actors who will travel to Belgrade for the event.

The program includes classical masterpieces such as Ulysses’ Gaze by Theodoros Angelopoulos, Iphigenia by Michael Cacoyannis and Spring Gathering by Dimos Avdeliodis. Also featured are modern, award-winning films such as Dogtooth by Giorgos Lanthimos, Miss Violence by Alexandros Avranas and Knifer by Yannis Economides. Greek Film Week will run until April 28.

The Greek News Agenda editorial team wishes its readers a happy Easter. We will be back on Monday, April 28, 2014.